With record low temperatures in many parts of Washington State, local fire departments are warning of the dangers of thin ice on ponds, lakes, streams and other waterways. The same goes for the millions of acres of state trust lands that DNR manages on both sides of the Cascades.
Just because an ice-covered pond or small lake is frozen doesn’t mean it’s safe for walking, skiing, skating, snowmobiling, etc. Same goes for pets. Ice should be at least 2 inches or more thick before it can be considered safe to walk on but ice seldom freezes evenly — it could be several inches thick in one spot and less than an inch thick nearby. Falling through ice into frigid water can easily be fatal within a few minutes.
Here are some tips from people who know their ice: our friends at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Planning on some ice fishing? Here are some ice fishing safety tips from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Or you can check out this video about ice rescues from an unidentified fire department.
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